The weather may not show it, but the Rhinos are 18 days away from their two day combine and 19 days away from their first pre-season game versus the Cleveland City Stars at Rhinos Stadium on Saturday March 21st.

The Rhinos still have some holes to fill in the lineup with only 15 players announced as on the roster today. But, they are supposed to get a player or two on loan from the NY Red Bulls and perhaps a player or two from the Colorado Rapids.

The biggest needs I see right now are a speedy forward to add offense off the bench and a true left winger in the event that Coach Tilley wants Danny Earls playing left back.

Outside of losing Ross Smith and Luke Kreamalmayer, I like how the off season has treated the Rhinos so far.

News & Notes:

- Speaking of USL 1st Division teams and the pre-season, Montreal and the Houston Dynamo had a not so friendly match. The best part about this game is that it could be a preview of one of the CONCACAF Champions League Semifinals.

- The Austin Aztex fell 2-0 to the New England Revolution in a pre-season match. The scary thing for Austin is that the Revs were not going with their starters from what I can tell.

- Today was a good day. First I read this nugget about Clint Dempsey doing a new song if Fulham reaches the FA Cup final at Wembley and then US Soccer unveils a new t-shirt and hat design that is awesome! Yes, I am a sucker for the whole "Don't Tread on This" marketing scheme by Nike.

- I love all the debates about how good is MLS. I wonder if the Crew thrashing Everton's reserves 5-1 means anything to those that bash the level of competition in MLS?

- has a nice article on Frankie Hejduk.

- Portland fans took to the streets to show support for the plan to move to MLS. Apparently there is a big vote coming up tomorrow.

- I wonder if the Rhinos are one of the USL teams looking at Cuban forward Reinier Alcantara should he not stick with San Jose?

- Speaking of San Jose , they picked up Chris Leitch from NY.

- Maurice Edu played well for Rangers this past weekend. That's good news after he decided to stick it out in Glasgow as opposed to accepting a loan elsewhere.

- DC United's blog has a Q&A with Santino Quaranta.

- We are about a week away from when the Beckham and Donovan loans expire. I love the headline in the LA Times  story!

- John Wolyniec is a Hall of Famer!

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the Rochester Rhinos or Feel free to send any comments or complaints to James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them